One word. DON’T!!
Sharing points on your show is a BIG no-no. As you go through the process of creating your show you will need help from people. You may need help with artwork, editing, or you may need to borrow money.
Do not, under any circumstance:
1. Offer anyone a percentage of the show
2. Offer credit for work done when the show is picked up
3. Offer a job when the show is picked up
A lot will change between now and when the show goes. There is a lot to the business side of your show that will happen and once it is rolling, you will have less control than you anticipate.
If this is your first show there is a good possibility that you will retain little or no ownership of the show. A good agent I know in LA said to me, and I quote, “Tell people if this is their first show to be prepared to take it in the shorts. Just be happy to be there.”
You cannot realistically offer a percentage of your first show because you will most likely be an employee of the show, and not an owner.
To offer credit to someone who is helping you build the show isn’t really offering anything at all. No Broadcaster will give a credit to someone who helped design the artwork for your website or to someone who helped shoot your Teaser.
When your show gets picked up you will be most likely be working with a Production Company that has access to people with tremendous talent and experience. So:
A. If you have offered a job to “Bob the Director” because he shot your Teaser for free you are opening yourself up to a lawsuit for breach of a verbal contract because the Production Company in most cases will not hire him. They will want to go with someone they know and trust.
B. You are going to have access to people who are really great at making these shows, so you don’t want to saddle yourself with someone who is just learning.
C. Striking deals like this is a rookie mistake and a sign to people in the biz that you don’t really know your way around.
When I sat down with my entertainment lawyer for the first time one of the first questions she asked me was if there were any encumbrances on the show. Meaning, does it owe anyone anything?
If the show owes a credit, or a job, or money to people it makes it harder to do business because technically anyone who is a partner in the show needs to be involved in all the legal aspects, and that has nightmare written all over it.
The bottom line is offering points, percentages, credits, jobs, or anything that resembles anything like these is a bad idea. If someone is trying to get any of these things from you in exchange for services, you now know, that:
A. it’s a headache just waiting to happen, and,
B. they don’t really know their way around the business.
So act like a pro and find another way to negotiate deals to get the help you need, because offering points on your show is, and always be, a bad, bad idea.
( someone has pointed out to me that it sounds like I’m saying “don’t ever form partnerships”, which is not accurate. Find the blog titled Partnerships and I’ll explain the difference.)